In 2015, South Africans celebrated 21 years of freedom,
sharing many pockets of excellence in the delivery of services Building state capacity.
The Department of Correctional Services also marked a plethora of strides made over the years.
These included the entrenchment of constitutionally guaranteed human rights, demilitarisation, Building state capacity
new legislation, the White Paper on Corrections in South Africa, and overall improvement in security, rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders into society.
The National Development Plan (NDP) has now provided a blueprint of a South Africa people would love to see, realise
and experience – a society where all people will be and feel safe while going about their everyday activities.
The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Advocate Michael Masutha,
said that central to these national efforts towards a safer society is Correctional Services.
He described it as a labour intensive operation
that seeks to break the cycle of crime through safe and humane custody, rehabilitation and social reintegration of offenders.
The Minister made a commitment to boost the human capital through, among others, increasing the staff compliment from 42 000 to 66 000, to professionalise corrections
and rollout an intensive recruitment drive called Operation Hira that focuses on security and retaining officials with scarce and critical skills.
As we continue marching into the third decade of freedom, we should not only appreciate the strides made over the past 21 years,
but also use them as the foundation from which we launch a more vigorous programme of implementing
our policies and strategies to put corrections on a higher delivery path. So much more needs to be done and we have the requisite political will
and administrative commitment. Central to our multi-faceted strategy to turnaround correctional services delivery is the focus on our human capital as a strategic resource for building the capacity of the state to realise the ideals enunciated in the NDP.
We have engaged a higher gear in the recruitment, training and retention of our personnel with over 3 000 recruited and over 1 000 currently undergoing training in our two Correctional Services colleges.
These recruits will help us fill entry-level positions, while also helping to accelerate the transformation of correctional services to a more representative institution in respect of women and people with disabilities.
Of the 1 020 recruits currently at our colleges, 449 are women and 21 are people with disabilities,
which represents 44 per cent and two per cent of the new recruits respectively.
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